October 24 2005


October 24 2005


Congratulations on a wonderful centennial issue (“Maclean’s presents the next 100 years,” Oct. 10). I didn’t put it down until I had finished reading the entire thing. What a shame we won’t be here to read the next centennial edition. Or will we?

Your issue had a great segue from Peter C. Newman’s “Dreams and appetites” nostalgia to what the future will hold. Still, I wanted to say that in “The child of the future” you tell us that we’ll have a gadget that can read our minds: well, I’ve already got one—my wife. David Boese, St. Catharines, Ont.

‘These are predictions about technology and genetics. Was climate change taboo even though what we’re doing now may result in the extinction of life?’ -GeraldBen,Toronto

Letters to the Editor:

Back to the future

Bob Thompson, Victoria

All of your predictions are based on an assumption of unlimited cheap energy, and this is simply false. The end of the age of oil is at hand, and the most likely scenario for the next 50 years is starvation and war as we fight over the remaining dwindling energy reserves. After that we may stabilize with a much smaller population using manual agricultural techniques to grow food around villages. Robots and cryogenic storage will be as impractical as screen doors on a submarine. The only section that had any hope of being accurate was the section on the destruction of our natural environment (“A memory of nature”), which, if we’re lucky, may be halted by our running out of energy before we can complete the job. Steve Keppel-Jones, Ottawa

Poor Lizzie Abel (“Lizzie’s century”). Where’s the romance, the poetry? And how about the food and drink? A pill to cure shyness, sexual pleasure with no outside stimulation, digitized feelings and a brain that is artificially stimulated to respond to them? You make the last 100 years look like pure utopian pleasure. The next 100, a pleasure to miss. Ivy Weir, Lennoxville, Que.

I am impressed with writer Allen Abel’s ability to capture my imagination and challenge it as well. I cannot help but admit how scared I am of this world he describes. I was forced

to close the issue because I reached my bus stop. As I walked home, I walked on fall leaves that made that beautiful crunching sound. I looked at the trees that told the story of the season. No computer or technology could ever stimulate that response. I am a 26-year-old man and I hope I never live to see that artificial world. I am grateful for all your research on this topic. It challenges me to not let technology rule my life. Marten Youssef, Surrey, B.C.

Old but not out

Rickey Henderson pathetic (“The stars at twilight,” Sports, Oct. 3)? Hardly. Henderson loves baseball, and wants, with all his heart, to play at the highest level possible. He has been living that ethic since he was a child. Along the way, he proved himself to be one of the true greats of the game. Now, at 46, the fire that drives him burns as brightly as ever. Hitting .270 with five home runs in 73 games against men half his age is an amazing accomplishment, and further proof of his greatness—even in the Golden Baseball League, the “most distant of professional baseball’s outer colonies,” as Steve Maich writes. Is there something wrong with him still bitching and moaning about wanting a chance? Hardly. When he was at the very top of his game 20 years ago, he was bitching and moaning every step of the way, digging deep for every single edge he could find on the baseball diamond. It is who he is: an absolutely fierce competitor.

Michael McKinnon, Atikokan, Ont.

This story is age bias at its finest. Stating that pro athletes linger on only because of ego and economics is insulting to the many players, throughout history, who competed at an elite level into their twilight years. A player’s ability should be the only criterion used in determining that player’s worth, not his date of birth. The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup, in 1967, it was with seven players who were 36 or older. While ego may have been a motivating factor for Johnny Bower or Terry Sawchuk, I am guessing economics played a very small part in their motivation.

Perry Hubbard, Kipling, Sask.

Guilt by association?

As a Quebecer, I take offence at texts that serve neither the truth nor the public. The article about Parti Québécois leadership contender André Boisclair by Benoit Aubin (“Better with coke,” Politics, Oct. 3) only serves to further the distorted views of Canadians who know nothing about our history and culture. If we vote for Boisclair, does that mean Quebecers are coke-snorting gay-lovers? What if he becomes premier later? What a sad, slanted, ignorant view English Canada will have of this man and of those who voted for him. Reality is so much more complex than the simplistic black and white Bush-like views spouted by the intolerant Aubin. Julie Neymar, Gatineau, Que.

Dollars and sense

I agree that Adrienne Clarkson showed some class as governor general (“She did us proud,” The Back Page, Oct. 3), but I have to point out the extremely high amount of taxpayers’ money that she spent on her many junkets. It is indeed too bad that we still accept that our country’s leaders have carte blanche to charge us a princely sum for fulfilling their duties. Let us hope the new GG has a bit more frugality in her habits. We simply can’t afford to spend the way Clarkson did, no matter how good her intentions were. Peter J. Murray, Saint John, N.B.

I would be interested to know how much all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the swearing-in of our new Governor General has cost the Canadian taxpayer. As I ponder this question and consider events and people such as Adscam, the gun registry, ex-privacy commissioner George Radwansky, ex-Royal Canadian Mint president David Dingwall and the lack of any real answers or application of justice, I find that I must redefine that old standby notion of the “haves” and the “have-nots.” The “haves” are those who have access to public coffers and taxpayers’ money, and the “have-nots” are the rest of us left paying.

Gord Anderson, Dundas, Ont.

Dog-in-the-manger TV

You write about how CTV executive Ivan Fecan out-competes Global (“CTV’s global conquest,” Television, Oct. 3). He sometimes even buys good programs without airing them just so Global doesn’t get them. In other words, instead of spending money to improve his product for his customers, he is paying to make his competitor’s product worse. This poor business practice will result in a shrinking pool of customers for Canadian television and will make it harder for CTV to compete profitably in the future. The result will be a weakening of both CTV and Global. While private companies are often more efficient than public ones, Fecan’s harebrained scheme for temporary market advantage makes a great argument for more public broadcasting. Instead of writing admiringly about him, you should have pointed at the failure of CTV management to rein him in.

If we vote for Boisclair, does that mean we Quebecers are coke-snorting gay-lovers? What a sad, slanted view of him and us.

Bert Markgraf, Hudson, Que.

Gatineau chainsaw massacre

Thank you for the article on Senator Raymond Lavigne and his efforts to level trees and bulldoze the riverbank on his wetland on the Gatineau River near Wakefield, Que. (“Senator clear-cut,” Politics, Oct. 3). Senator Lavigne is truly a “neighbour from hell” and the whole village is aware of it. The fact that his fellow Liberals have not stopped him from developing his land in a designated flood zone, which is against provincial law, is just another indication of the Liberals’ unbridled abuse of power. Philip Cohen, Wakefield, Que.

Government Senate leader Jack Austin is ducking his responsibilities when he contends that he cannot do anything about Senator Raymond Lavigne because Lavigne’s actions are private. Would Austin take the same position if Lavigne privately robbed a bank? Austin can certainly have Lavigne dismissed from the Liberal caucus. The worst aspect of this caper is that Lavigne is intimidating the very people he is supposed to represent. The Quebec senator would be much less arrogant if he had to stand for election periodically to keep his Senate seat.

Keith Burton, Ste-Clotilde, Que.